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Sir Ralph Norris quits Commonwealth Bank of Australia

New Zealander Sir Ralph Norris will retire as chief executive of Commonwealth Bank of Australia, parent of ASB, in November.

His replacement comes from inside the bank – group executive, business and private banking Ian Narev.

In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, the bank’s chairman David Turner said it was recognised by Mr Norris and the board that it was the right time to appoint the next chief executive.

“On behalf of the board I want to thank Ralph for being an outstanding and fearless chief executive who has made a real contribution not just to banking but to the Australian and New Zealand communities,” said Mr Turner. 

The former Air New Zealand boss almost doubled his total pay packet to A$16.2 million last year, making him Australia's highest-paid executive and sparking outcry across the Tasman as the public bank-bashing mood escalated.

During his six years in the role Sir Ralph helped steer Australia's largest bank through the tumultuous global financial crisis and its purchase of BankWest for just over $2 billion.

His replacement Mr Narev, 44, was previously a partner at McKinsey & Co and headed the consulting firm’s New Zealand office before joining the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

He will be paid a fixed salary of $2.5 million, with potential for that to triple under incentive targets.

One Kiwi leaves, another arrives
Sir Ralph's' departure came as another New Zealand expat, Andy Lark, joined the bank's executive team.

Mr Lark started at CBA on July 1 as chief marketing officer. He arrived from Dell in the US where he was vice president of global sales for the company's enterprise division.

More by Georgina Bond

Comments and questions

Hopefully Ralph will come back to Auckland and get involved on some boards and projects that help NZ Inc - we need his skills right now

Great to see another Kiwi taking the healm

The perfect role for him and NZ Inc would be if he would becomr MD of the NZX. NZX need a person to focus on customer relationships, a person with people and team building skills, and a person with whiter than white integrity and vision - Sir Ralph fits the bill for all these skills.

Absolutely agree

Move over John Key...
This could be bigger than you think!!!

Will he get a list place with Act?

Give the man a break! He is not likely to want to be associated with such a shonky outfit like Act. I don't think Sir Ralph will want to get into politics with the problems confronting NZ just now.

"And the federal government treasurer (Aus)called him a "throwback, to the arrogant, aloof, patrician banker of old".

Yeh guys....just what we need

This is the same guy that lost the Americas cup and was more than happy to accept jollys in exchange for business deals. Keep him in Australia where he belongs

The guys a legend! We need more like him. Adding value and kicking goals

Good Luck with Andy Lark. He got nothing done at Dell

The best and most honest banker NZ ever produced!